All Things Lyme Blog

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All Things Lyme Blog Archive

Blog Posts – 2017
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03/19/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The authors cite the 2006 Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines when making their recommendation that “individuals be treated with a single dose of doxycycline (4 mg/kg in children ≥8 years of age to a maximum 200 mg and 200 mg in adults)”. [1] Their recommendation applies only […]
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03/15/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The patient presented with a syncopal episode with no prodrome, shortness of breath and weakness, according to the case study, entitled Electrocardiographic progression of acute Lyme disease. “Three weeks prior to the presentation, he had experienced an “insect bite” on his calf after being outside. A week later, he […]
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03/13/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The study entitled “Melting pot of tick-borne zoonoses: the European hedgehog contributes to the maintenance of various tick-borne diseases in natural cycles urban and suburban areas,” investigates the extent to which hedgehogs contribute to the enzootic cycle of tick-borne pathogens. European hedgehogs are urban dwellers and legally protected in […]
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03/08/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The Lyme disease bacterium swims in an undulating pattern throughout the body. “The flagella reside within the periplasm, the space between the bacterial cell wall and the outer membrane,” according to Harman, from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona. [1] “Rotation of the flagella within […]
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03/06/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Ceres Nanosciences is marketing the Nanotrap® as “a game changing tool for Lyme disease diagnosis.” The first-of-its-kind urine-based Lyme Antigen test “will provide the most sensitive detection of Lyme disease, at all stages of the disease. Unlike other clinical Lyme disease tests that are indirect, the Nanotrap® LA test […]
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03/03/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The article, “Chronic Lyme borreliosis associated with minimal change glomerular disease: a case report,” cites four published papers describing kidney damage in Lyme disease patients. The papers consisted of 4 cases of membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN), a case of crescentic and IgA-deposit nephropathy, and a case of membranous nephropathy. [1] […]
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03/01/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The event consisted of 2 days of long distance mountain racing through a tick-infested habitat in Scotland. “Teams of 2 runners each navigate mountainous terrain, carrying all their equipment for an overnight camp,” according to Hall from the University of Salford. [1] To encourage participation in the study, racers […]
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02/24/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Polly Murray’s children and neighbors suffered from Lyme disease rather than Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Alan Steere described a cluster of adolescents and adults with Lyme disease in Lyme Connecticut. William Burgdorfer discovered Borrelia burgdorferi in the midgut of the Ixodes scapularis tick. James Krause discovered Babesia microti in the […]
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02/23/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Despite having the genetic apparatus, B. miyamotoi typically does not manifest with a relapsing fever. “Although evidence of antigenic variation, which drives the relapsing course of other relapsing fevers due to borrelia has not been demonstrated clinically or in an animal system thus far for B. miyamotoi [2], it […]
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02/19/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Doctors in Bogotá, Colombia, describe an encounter with a 24-year-old American woman whom they eventually diagnosed with Lyme disease seven days after she arrived in the country from Virginia, USA. [1] The woman presented to a Bogotá emergency room with a “popular pruritic lesion in [the] right flank.” The […]
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02/17/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Doctors described a case of BMD in a previously healthy 63-year-old American man living in Japan. “He reported being bitten by ticks several times while staying with his family at his summer house in the state of Minnesota in the USA from July 25 to August 9, 2013,” according to […]
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02/14/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The OspA vaccine trial was 78% effective at preventing a culture confirmed erythema migrans rash. But the vaccine was only 48% effective at preventing what the authors referred to as “possible Lyme disease.” “Possible Lyme disease was defined as a flu-like illness (fever, chills, fatigue, headache, joint or muscle aches) […]
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NEUROLOGIC LYME DISEASE PATIENTS
02/11/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The authors found 13% of patients with a spinal tap positive by both cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis and Borrelia-specific antibodies remained ill for more than 3 months after treatment. Meanwhile, 33% of Lyme neuroborreliosis patients with Borrelia-specific antibodies detected in cerebrospinal fluid and 43% of Lyme neuroborreliosis patients with pleocytosis […]
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02/05/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH “Three weeks after the vacation [in Cape Cod], he awoke in the night to use the bathroom. Thirty minutes later, he found himself on the bathroom floor, not recalling any premonitory symptoms for syncope. In the following weeks, he experienced a sharp decrement in exercise tolerance,” according to Patel […]
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02/01/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH According to the authors, “If uncontrolled in the context of neuroborreliosis, the astrocyte response could lead to long-term injury in the CNS.” Researchers identified changes in gene expression within 48 hours of infecting cultured astrocytes with Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb). “Understanding how these changes are maintained over time will be […]
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01/28/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH A 51-year-old man in the United Kingdom was hospitalized with retrosternal, dull chest pain. He had a history of palpitations, dizziness, and sweating and a previous transient ischemic attack.[1] He presented with a heart rate of 180 with right bundle branch block, a superior QRS axis, and signs of […]
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01/23/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH According to a 2017 study published in Clinical Infectious Disease, a pronounced TH17 cytokine response may be beneficial in the early stages of Lyme disease. “In these patients, the levels of inflammatory mediators, particularly TH17-associated cytokines, correlated directly with B. burgdorferi IgG antibodies (P<0.02), suggesting a beneficial role for […]
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01/20/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Questing ticks were collected from grassland, hedges, parks, woodland and woodland edges in Salisbury, an urban area located in Wiltshire, England. Ticks were identified at over 50% of the 25 sites surveyed. Furthermore, investigators reported that the collected ticks carried two pathogens posing a health risk to the public. […]
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01/17/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH In a review, published in Cochrane, entitled Antibiotics for the neurological complications of Lyme disease, Cadavid and colleagues identify several trials investigating the effectiveness of antibiotic treatments for neurological Lyme disease in Europe. The authors describe generally favorable outcomes for treating neurologic complications of Lyme disease. “The majority of people […]
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01/15/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Older hybrid Ixodes scapularis ticks did not do so well. “Four month old larvae resulting from a cross between Wisconsin males and South Carolina females died faster under southern than under northern conditions in the lab,” explains Ginsberg. But then again, it is unlikely that an individual would be […]
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01/13/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The findings of this double-blinded placebo controlled clinical trial were published in The Lancet Infectious Disease. In a post hoc analysis of 134 subjects, the authors were able to prevent 6 rashes if the gel was applied after a tick bite. The gel delayed the onset of EM rashes […]
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01/06/2017 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been charged with identifying counties endemic for Lyme disease (LD). But how accurate is the information provided to the public? As of 2016, 50% of the counties in the USA have been designated as endemic for the disease. [2] “The […]
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Blog Posts – 2016
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12/27/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH 1. Growing list of eye problems in Lyme disease Ophthalmic manifestations of tick-borne diseases are increasing. And, “although ocular involvement can be self-limited, delays in diagnosis may result in vision impairment and even blindness,” stated Sathiamoorthi from the Mayo Clinic. 2. Study raises concerns for Babesia patients and blood banks Babesiosis, an […]
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12/21/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Scientists have been trying to understand whether there are behavior differences between southern and northern nymphs in a study in PLoS One.[1] Investigators from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University set up a model to compare Ixodes scapularis nymphs from northern regions (Wisconsin and Rhode Island) […]
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12/19/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron MD MPH Questing black-legged ticks (I. scapularis) associated with Lyme disease (LD) were collected at several locations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina between 1991 and 2009.  The authors found that in October 1991, Borrelia burgdorferi-infected I. scapularis ticks were detected at 50% of the sites (four of the eight). […]
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12/16/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH “Knowledge of systemic and ophthalmic manifestations combined with an understanding of the epidemiology of disease vectors is crucial for the diagnosis of tick-borne diseases,” she explains. While manifestations may be present with LD and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ocular involvement is rare in other tick-borne diseases such as babesiosis, […]
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12/12/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH A recent study published in Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases examined the seroprevalence of B. microti infection in individuals who tested positive for Lyme disease (LD). The authors found that nearly 30% (28.6%) of serum samples taken from individuals with LD tested positive for Babesia. However, since the study was […]
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12/06/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The case of a 79-year-old man whose symptoms were initially attributed to idiopathic Parkinson’s disease but later found to be due to Lyme meningitis was described by Patel and colleagues in “Atypical Lyme Meningitis with Parkinson Disease-Like Manifestations.” [1] The man’s condition was “fully reversible” with intravenous ceftriaxone.  The […]
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11/28/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH In a recent issue of the American Journal of Dermatopathology, Lynch and colleagues report on the case of a 21-year-old man who suffered hair loss following a tick bite to the scalp. [2] The man presented with nonscarring alopecia, a pattern of hair loss similar to alopecia-areata, also known […]
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11/27/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The case report describes an uncommon adverse drug reaction which occurred in a 45-year-old woman who was prescribed antibiotics for Lyme disease and Babesia. Following her diagnosis, the patient received three months of treatment which included doxycycline, minocycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. According to the authors, the patient’s “clinical presentation was […]
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Credit: Cognitive and Affective Control Laboratory / University of Colorado Boulder.
11/09/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Studies have found that patients with Lyme disease (LD) experience “exaggerated responses to pain and non-painful stimuli” despite antibiotic treatment. [1, 2] Lopez-Sola and colleagues describe those same responses in patients with fibromyalgia (FM), a condition associated with widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness accompanied by fatigue, cognitive, emotional and […]
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11/04/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The most common causes of the disorder, according to White and colleagues, include non-laryngeal malignancies, iatrogenic injuries, and idiopathic causes. Post-operative dysfunction after retraction, dissection along the recurrent laryngeal nerve and  thoracic malignancy have also been identified as contributing triggers. [1] White reports on infectious, neurologic and inflammatory causes, […]
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10/30/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The authors take an in-depth look at BYS and how it compares to Lyme disease (LD) found in the United States. Although there are slight differences between the diseases, BYS and LD share similarities on many fronts. [1] “Despite the increasing number of suspect cases, this disease [BYS] is […]
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10/27/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The article, Hemifacial spasm from Lyme disease: Antibiotic treatment points to cause, examines the case of a 44-year-old patient who was diagnosed with Lyme disease as a result of her rapid improvement following antimicrobial therapy. “Antibiotic administration for diagnostic purposes is not a recommended medical practice, of course, but the […]
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10/23/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The authors described patients with tick-transmitted diseases presenting with the following ophthalmologic findings: Follicular conjunctivitis Periorbital edema and mild photophobia Bell’s palsy, cranial nerve palsies and Horner syndrome Argyll Robertson pupil Keratitis Optic neuritis, papilledema, papillitis and neuroretinitis Myositis of extraocular muscles and dacryoadenitis Episcleritis, anterior and posterior scleritis […]
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10/09/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The patient, who had been well until 5 days prior to her admission into the hospital, displayed atypical symptoms. Her illness was never attributed to a tick-borne disease, although she had reported removing a tick from her groin two weeks prior to being admitted to the hospital. The patient’s […]
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10/04/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Researchers at New York Medical College have presumed that such fatigue is related to the presence of proinflammatory cytokines and other acute phase proteins. “Because prior studies have demonstrated the presence of elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines and other molecules in the serum of highly symptomatic patients with erythema […]
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09/29/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Gasmi and colleagues found that you cannot always rely on the testing of engorged ticks to help determine possible exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the causative agent of Lyme disease. The Quebec study, “Analysis of the human population bitten by Ixodes scapularis ticks in Quebec, Canada: Increasing risk of […]
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09/25/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The patients were prescribed anti-inflammatory therapies, primarily disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). “These treatments included steroids (3%), NSAIDS (20%), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) (57%), most commonly methotrexate, but also TNF-inhibitors, or combinations of these agents,” reported Arvikar. [1] The authors assumed that the persistent Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) infection had been […]
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09/18/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Participants in the PLEASE trial were scored using an SF-36 physical component of Health (PCS) scale. Their PCS scores of 31 to 32 were worse than those of a diabetic and cancer patient. [3] These patients’ PCS scores have been 42 and 41, respectively. While PCS scores have been […]
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09/13/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Physicians are warned of the importance in distinguishing between viral or idiopathic facial paralysis (e.g., Bell’s palsy) from Lyme disease-associated facial palsy. Authors of the study, “Steroid Use in Lyme Disease-Associated Facial Palsy Is Associated With Worse Long-Term Outcomes,” used the term Lyme disease-associated facial palsy (LDFP) rather than […]
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09/09/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH According to a study by Wormser and colleagues, from New York Medical College, “Patients with chronic Lyme disease were significantly more likely to be female than were patients diagnosed with either Lyme disease or with post-Lyme disease syndrome.” “This finding,” says Wormser, “suggests that illnesses with a female preponderance, […]
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09/06/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Doctors from the Tufts University School of Medicine, New England Medical Center described the financial damage Lyme disease caused to 27 individuals with chronic neurologic Lyme disease. “Although most were able to remain employed, three quit their jobs, three decreased their work load to part-time, and two retired earlier,” […]
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08/30/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH The study, “CCL19 as a Chemokine Risk Factor for Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome: A Prospective Clinical Cohort Study,” found T-cell chemokines are an important part of the immune response in early Lyme disease (LD). Researchers at Johns Hopkins identified T-cell chemokines CCL19 that rise in early LD then drop […]
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08/24/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Investigators from the University of Massachusetts conducted a passive surveillance study of 3551 ticks submitted to the University’s Laboratory of Medical Zoology. The vast majority of ticks provided over a 7–year period (2006 – 2012) were Ixodes scapularis (deer ticks) from Massachusetts (N ≡ 2088). [4] Xu and colleagues […]
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08/16/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The aspiring young scientist, Jackie Flynn, reported that her informal study found ticks were killed after 5 minutes in the dryer, not one hour. The time difference was significant and caught the attention of researchers at the CDC, who decided to investigate further. Now, three years later, a new […]
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08/11/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Physicians who prescribe no more than a three-week course of antibiotics will typically recommend watchful waiting rather than prescribing additional antibiotic treatment for patients suffering with persistent symptoms. However, two leading research groups have described the dangers in not taking action. Investigators at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine […]
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08/03/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The study by Krause and colleagues, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, did not break down the time of day the patients exhibited sweats. [2] The authors noted, however, additional symptoms their patients suffered including fatigue (81%), headaches (77%), fevers (58%), chills (42%), myalgias (38%), anorexia […]
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07/26/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Doctors described a 67-year-old avid outdoorsman from central Pennsylvania with a 3-month history of progressive left knee pain and swelling. [1] There was no history of trauma, tick bite, or rash nor evidence of joint effusion, infection, or Baker’s cyst. There was no record of whether a Lyme disease […]
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07/22/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Differing genotypes of Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) that help explain strain virulence have been described by researchers. [8] Each genotype expresses a different Outer Surface Protein C (OspC) on the surface of the spirochete, each with differing virulence. [7] “We define three categories of major OspC groups: one that is […]
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07/15/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH This expansion into new geographic territories includes regions in the South, often thought to be free of ticks carrying Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. Investigators, for instance, have identified blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) or western blacklegged ticks (Ixodes pacificus) ticks in 71 (28%) of the 254 […]
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07/10/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The cases were identified based on the physicians’ determination in the medical record, patients’ clinical findings, tick exposure, and other relevant details (e.g., laboratory results). The mean costs of early Lyme disease consisted of $801 for direct medical costs, $259 for indirect medical costs, $52 for non-medical costs, and […]
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07/06/2016 -   by Daniel Cameron, MD MPH Scientists seemed to have opened Pandora’s box with the discovery of Lyme disease. We now know ticks were present millions of years ago and that Borrelia spirochete have been infecting humans for thousands of years. We also now know, whether through accidental discovery or direct research, that a single […]
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MOST CHILDREN WITH POSITIVE IGM IMMUNOBLOT FOR LYME DISEASE ARE TRULY POSITIVE
06/28/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Lantos and colleagues from Duke University Medical Center recently questioned the accuracy of the IgM immunoblot for Lyme disease (LD) in children and adolescents by reviewing a series of patients admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital during a 7-year period. The study, False Positive Lyme Disease IgM Immunoblots in Children, […]
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Researchers identify novel drug combinations to combat Lyme persister cells
06/22/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH In a study entitled “A Drug Combination Screen Identifies Drugs Active against Amoxicillin-Induced Round Bodies of In Vitro Borrelia burgdorferi Persisters from an FDA Drug Library,” Feng and colleagues hypothesize that when Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme bacterium, is confronted with certain stressors, such as starvation or exposure to antibiotics, […]
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Sick for years with Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome
06/20/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The study focuses on the similarities and differences in male and female Lyme disease patients. However, the authors give little attention to the fact that both the male and female participants suffered from Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome a decade after treatment. A growing number of studies describe individuals sick […]
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problems with 2-week course of antibiotics for Lyme disease
06/14/2016 - by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH As early as 1990, Logigian and colleagues hypothesized that a two-week course of intravenous ceftriaxone would not successfully eradicate the Lyme bacterium. “The likely reason for relapse is failure to eradicate the spirochete completely with a two-week course of intravenous ceftriaxone therapy.” [3] A recently published clinical trial from […]
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Reversible causes of Dementia
06/12/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH According to Rolling Stone, doctors believed the 79-year-old singer’s “increasingly debilitating memory loss was due to either Alzheimer’s or to dementia brought on by blows to the head from the boxing, football and rugby of his teens and early twenties.” He reportedly could not remember what he was doing […]
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LADS Lyme disease guidelines rank in top 5% of all research articles
05/27/2016 - by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Altmetrics are metrics and qualitative data that are complementary to traditional, citation-based metrics that track and demonstrate the reach and influence of research publications to key stakeholders. [1] The Altmetrics score “can signal that research is changing a field of study, the public’s health, or having any other number of […]
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Lyme disease Netherlands clinical trial
05/24/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH In the article, Randomized Trial of Longer-term Antibiotic Therapy for Symptoms Attributed to Lyme Disease, the authors “assessed whether longer-term antibiotic treatment of persistent symptoms attributed to Lyme disease leads to better outcomes than does shorter-term treatment.” They report that “longer-term antibiotic treatment did not have additional beneficial effects […]
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JAMA review ignores chronic manifestations of Lyme disease
05/11/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH “Multiple trials have shown efficacy for a 10-day course of oral doxycycline for treatment of erythema migrans and for a 14-day course for treatment of early neurologic Lyme disease in ambulatory patients,” the review concludes. Furthermore, “Evidence indicates that a 10-day course of oral doxycycline is effective for HGA […]
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05/01/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The Journal of Vector Ecology was talking about deer keds seen below (family Hippoboscidae, genus Lipoptena), not deer flies (family Tabanidae, genus Chrysops). Thomas Mather pointed out a fun blog about this “tick with wings” at http://www.tickencounter.org/tick_notes/tick_notes_deer_keds#top 2. The Anaplasma phagocytophilum identified in the paper has not been identified […]
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Don’t dismiss the poor quality of life for individuals with Lyme disease
04/22/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH In the recent Clinical Infectious Diseases article entitled “Long-term follow-up of patients with Lyme disease: Longitudinal analysis of clinical and quality of life measures,” the authors conclude that “both mental health and physical health scores increased to be at or above national average over time, regardless of Lyme disease […]
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Tick-borne co-infections are the norm, not the exception
03/29/2016 - by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Lyme disease was first identified in 1975 in a group of children and adolescents living in Connecticut, who suffered from recurrent attacks of asymmetric swelling and pain in several large joints, particularly in the knee. The patients were initially diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. “The typical patient has had […]
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What might sudden cardiac death due to Lyme disease look like?
03/22/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Fatal Lyme carditis is rarely identified. In reviewing five post mortem cases, Muehlenbach and colleagues found that Lyme disease was not suspected for one patient who complained of episodic shortness of breath, while the second patient tested negative for Lyme disease. Two other patients did not seek medical care. […]
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Level with Lyme disease patients, at least 1 in 3 can fail treatment
03/14/2016 -  By Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) published evidence-based treatment guidelines in 2006 which states, “Considerable confusion and controversy exist over the frequency and cause of this process [chronic Lyme disease] and even over its existence.” Furthermore, any “[ongoing] symptoms appear to be more related to the aches and […]
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Probiotics can be priceless in preventing Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea
03/11/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH There are at least 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease every year in the United States. As this patient group requires antibiotic therapy to treat Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses, there is a chance they can develop C. difficile. However, a rush decision to not prescribe or to discontinue […]
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How Lyme myocarditis might present in an adolescent patient
03/07/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described three cases of sudden deaths associated with Lyme-induced myocarditis. “During November 2012 and July 2013, one woman and two men (ranging in age from 26 to 38 years) from high-incidence Lyme disease states experienced sudden cardiac death and, […]
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03/06/2016 -   by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Study examines doxycycline as cause of acute pancreatitis in patient initially treated for suspected Lyme disease. A 51-year-old man was admitted to the hospital with a one-week history of extreme fatigue, malaise, and confusion. Three days prior to admittance, the man had started oral doxycycline for presumed Lyme […]
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Have you been bitten by a partially fed tick?
02/29/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH “It’s important for people to be aware that there may be ticks in areas where they haven’t seen them previously so that they can take steps to help protect themselves and their families,” lead study author Rebecca Eisen, a research biologist at the CDC, told Reuters Health. As the […]
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No commercial diagnostic tests available for emerging tick-borne diseases
02/25/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH A recent discovery by researchers at Mayo Clinic demonstrates the complexity of tick-borne organisms. Pathologists at the institution have described a new Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies in six patients. The new species, provisionally named Borrelia mayonii, was found in the Upper Midwest but it may be elsewhere. Symptoms are […]
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02/23/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH According to a paper published this week in Parasites & Vectors, “larval bites on humans, which easily go unnoticed, can cause Lyme borreliosis and Borrelia miyamotoi disease.” Researchers found that larvae of Ixodes ricinus can transmit Borrelia afzelii and B. miyamotoi to rodents. [1] Individuals living in the Netherlands […]
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Different response by CDC to spread of Zika virus vs. Lyme disease-carrying ticks
02/17/2016 -   by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Although Lyme disease and the Zika virus are transmitted by different types of vectors, both illnesses can cause severe, long-term health damage and are of enormous concern to the general public. The response by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to each threat, however, has been […]
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02/15/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH A study by Nimgaonkar and colleagues examines the relationship between cognitive deficits and infectious agents. The authors found a temporal cognitive decline in patients with exposure to infectious agents in a population-based, aging cohort. [1] The authors reported that exposure to cytomegalovirus (CMV), Herpes Simplex virus, type 1 (HSV-1), […]
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Limits on antibiotics for Lyme disease leave doctors in Limbo
02/09/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH As many as one-third of patients with Lyme disease are ill on long-term follow-up. A population-based, retrospective cohort study in Massachusetts found 34% of patients suffered from arthritis or recurrent arthralgias, neurocognitive impairment, and neuropathy or myelopathy, an average of 6 years after treatment for Lyme disease. [1] Meanwhile, 62% of a cohort of 215 […]
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Patients should be warned of Lyme disease complications, including Lyme encephalopathy
01/28/2016 -  by Daniel Cameron, MD MPH Physicians, including Dr. Gary Wormser who operate the facility, recently published a review article, which states, “We have never seen the poorly defined entity referred to as Lyme encephalopathy and question its existence. We also question the existence of a diffuse axonal peripheral neuropathy as a manifestation of Lyme disease, […]
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Google searches on Lyme disease jump to their highest level
01/15/2016 -   Italy. Google Search Trends on Lyme disease. 2011 – 2015. In 2015, Lyme disease stole the spotlight. Quite possibly, like never before. The disease made international headlines throughout the year, grabbing the attention of individuals around the world, as big-name celebrities and high-profile executives went public and opened up about their struggles with a disease that has been […]
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Survey finds most Connecticut residents are unaware of Babesia and Anaplasmosis
01/07/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH The risk of becoming infected with Babesia is rising. It’s common to find ticks and enzootic hosts carrying both Borrelia burgdorferi (the causative agent of Lyme disease) and Babesia microti. In fact, between 12% and 42% of rodents are co-infected with both agents. Up to 40% of patients with […]
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01/05/2016 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH The survey’s data should not come as a surprise. Twelve years ago, in 2004, while testifying before the Connecticut Public Health Department, the state’s chief epidemiologist Dr. James Hadler warned officials that “… roughly 1% of the entire population, or probably 34,000 people, are getting a diagnosis of Lyme disease […]
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Blog Posts – 2015
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25th anniversary of first study describing chronic neurologic Lyme disease
12/30/2015 -   by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH It has been 25 years since chronic neurologic Lyme disease (CNL) was first described in a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine. [1] The study’s investigators included Dr. Alan Steere, the physician credited with discovering Lyme disease in 1977. In describing chronic neurologic Lyme disease […]
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Top Lyme and tick-borne disease stories of 2015
12/27/2015 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH As the year comes to a close, we look back at some of the top news stories for 2015. 1. Steven A. Cohen’s Foundation Donates $6.5M to Lyme Disease “I was shocked to learn how many people suffer from Lyme disease in silence, and how much we still need […]
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Culture evidence of Lyme disease in antibiotic treated patients living in the Southeast
12/18/2015 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH Scientists are increasingly focusing their attention on identifying tick-borne pathogens present in the Southeastern United States. In 2015, Lantos and colleagues released a paper which reviewed the geographic expansion of Lyme disease in the Southeast over the past 14 years. They found “a marked increase in Lyme disease cases […]
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Renewed call for dialogue on Lyme disease
12/13/2015 -   by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH “We need more national and international debates on Lyme disease, complemented by a solid research agenda and a focus on cutting edge biological technologies,” writes Borgermans and colleagues. “The medical community has been collectively forced out of its comfort zone on Lyme disease by increasing evidence of the […]
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Babesia and Lyme — it’s worse than you think
12/08/2015 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH Although Lyme disease is the most talked about tick-transmitted disease, Babesia is more common than you might think. In the 2015 issue of Trends in Parasitology, Diuk-Wasser and colleagues report that up to 40% of patients with Lyme disease experienced concurrent Babesiosis. [1] This means that out of the […]
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Treatment options for an anxious, suicidal patient with a history of Lyme disease
12/02/2015 -   by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH In an article entitled “New-onset Panic, Depression with Suicidal Thoughts and Somatic Symptoms in a Patient with a History of Lyme Disease,” researchers highlight the complexity of evaluating and treating a patient with a history of suspected Lyme disease who presented with neuropsychiatric symptoms. [1] The authors, Amir […]
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Travelers heading south cannot escape the threat of tick-borne diseases
11/21/2015 -   by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH Although much attention has been focused on the dangers blacklegged ticks pose in the Northeast in transmitting Lyme disease, there are multiple tick species in the South that carry a host of diseases travelers should be aware of. The number of tick-borne cases has been steadily rising in […]
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Time for shared decision-making when treating Lyme disease
11/11/2015 -    The goal is to move away from a model of care where the doctor is the sole voice with treatment decisions toward a patient-centered practice that fully involves the patient in each decision at every stage of care. Slowly but steadily, the medical community has responded, adopting a shared decision-making process with a broad […]
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At least 50% of patients with Lyme neuroborreliosis remain ill years after treatment
10/29/2015 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH There are doctors who continue to question the existence and severity of chronic manifestations of Lyme disease (LD), despite a growing number of cases described in leading medical journals. [1,2]  The cases include chronic neurologic Lyme disease, [3] Lyme encephalopathy, [4,5] neuropsychiatric LD, [6] post-treatment chronic Lyme disease, [7] post-Lyme disease [8] and […]
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Lyme disease diagnosis almost missed in patient with Babesia
10/22/2015 -   by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH The importance of clinicians considering other tick-borne diseases, such as Babesia, when evaluating patients with Lyme disease has been addressed in the literature. Surprisingly, however, physicians may actually not consider Borrelia burgdorferi (the Lyme pathogen) as a “co-infection” in patients diagnosed with a tick-borne disease. Such was the case for an elderly […]
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Could monoclonal antibodies prevent Lyme disease better than a vaccine?
10/11/2015 -   by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH In a recent article by NBC News, entitled Lyme Disease Treatment Would Prevent Infection, Researchers Say, Dr. Mark Klempner, of the University of Massachusetts’ nonprofit vaccine development arm, MassBiologics, describes a study where lab-developed monoclonal antibodies prevented Lyme disease in mice. Klempner’s group presented their findings, claiming the monoclonal […]
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09/27/2015 -  by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Persistent infection of Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) has been proven experimentally in Peromyscus mice, laboratory mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, dogs and non-human primates. [1-8] Some researchers and clinicians argue, the existence of a persistent Bb infection explains why some Lyme disease patients remain sick even after treatment. According to one study, as many […]
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09/16/2015 - by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) has long insisted that a maximum antibiotic course of 21 days is sufficient to eradicate the Lyme bacterium, while the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) recommends a longer course of therapy with duration dependent on response to therapy. [1] So, what treatment […]
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09/09/2015 - by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH Lyme in the Limelight, published by Hamodia newspaper, features interviews with veterans in the field including researchers, physicians and advocacy leaders. As a representative of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) and co-author of the practice guidelines for the treatment of Lyme disease, Dr. Eugene Shapiro gives his perspective on […]
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09/01/2015 - Dr. Daniel Cameron & Associates, located in the Hudson Valley New York area, is uniquely positioned in a region where Lyme disease is endemic, enabling the practice to participate in much-needed clinical research projects, including the validation of newly developed Lyme disease tests. Since 1987, Dr. Cameron has been evaluating and treating thousands of individuals with tick-borne […]
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08/26/2015 - by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH Dr. Neil Spector, one of the nation’s top cancer researchers and oncologists, has become a powerful advocate for Lyme disease patients. In his memoir, Gone in a Heartbeat: A Physician’s Search for True Healing, Dr. Spector chronicles his battle with debilitating and at times, life threatening cardiac problems due to undiagnosed Lyme carditis. Despite his […]
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08/04/2015 - by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH The study describes a significant problem with under-reporting (∼196 unreported cases per year) based on data from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST), and the Center for Environmental and Communicable Diseases. The paper proposed using medically diagnosed cases from a Tennessee-based Managed Care Organization (MCO) to help bridge gaps in the […]
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07/28/2015 - by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH Researchers from Duke University Health System in North Carolina reviewed the medical records of 1,621 patients, who had a clinical history consistent with Lyme disease and sought treatment at the facility between 2005 and 2010. [1] The authors, who were examining the predictive value of Lyme disease tests, discuss their […]
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07/11/2015 -  “The increases in the geographic range and population sizes of several tick species over the previous few decades in the northern hemisphere have resulted in dramatic increases in the incidence of tick-borne diseases such as tick-borne encephalitis, Lyme disease, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, and human granulocytic Ehrlichiosis,” says Camilo E. Khatchikian, a postdoctoral researcher in Penn’s Department […]
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06/30/2015 - by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH “Minds are like parachutes. They only function when open.” This particular quote by Thomas Dewar came to mind after reading an article, Chronic Lyme Disease (1) in the June issue of Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. In it, the author writes, “the scientific community has largely rejected chronic, treatment-refractory Borrelia burgdorferi infection.” […]
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06/24/2015 - by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH Research studies examining impaired or heightened sense of smell have been focused primarily on patients suffering from neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Only recently, have researchers begun to investigate the connection between olfactory disorders and autoimmune diseases.  And, while there have been many anecdotal reports from Lyme […]
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06/15/2015 - by Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH When ticks hatch from eggs, they’re called larva. At this stage, they have only six legs. After taking their first blood meal, the larvae molt into 8-legged nymphal ticks. Most studies have identified blacklegged ticks in the nymph stage as posing the greatest threat to humans. But Dr. Molloy […]
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06/08/2015 - by Daniel Cameron, MD, MPH Physicians use various terms when referring to chronic manifestations of Lyme disease ─ Lyme encephalopathy, Chronic Lyme disease (CLD), Post-Lyme disease syndrome (PLDS), or Post-treatment Lyme disease (PTLD). The National Institute of Health (NIH) conducted four separate trials, which validated the existence, severity [5,6] and duration [5,6] of chronic manifestations […]
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05/04/2015 - Individuals diagnosed with Lyme neuroborreliosis typically suffer from headaches, fatigue, memory loss, learning disabilities, and depression. Clinical findings have included meningitis, cranial neuritis, radiculoneuritis, encephalopathy, encephalitis, encephalomyelitis, radiculitis, radiculoneuritis, mononeuropathies, plexopathies, and demyelinating neuropathies. Dr. Mario T. Philipp and colleagues at the Tulane National Primate Research Center launched an investigation to examine the role of inflammation […]
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04/21/2015 - In the summer of 2013, a young man from Poughkeepsie, NY, died suddenly after suffering from flu-like symptoms for nearly 3 weeks. Initial reports suggested he had died from complications due to the Powassan virus, a rare illness, transmitted by ticks that can be fatal. However, a paper published in the March issue of Cardiovascular Pathologist, reports […]
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03/04/2015 - As these infographics on Lyme disease demonstrate, patients can suffer from long-lasting symptoms if not diagnosed early on and treated adequately. Diagnostic tests are unreliable. And contrary to popular belief, patients often don’t have the classic bulls-eye rash or recall a tick bite. The data provided in these infographics are supported by peer-reviewed, published studies, as referenced below. (Infographic produced […]
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02/22/2015 - The Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) can cause flu-like symptoms, including fevers, headaches, joint pain, muscle aches, nausea, rashes and malaise. The same symptoms we see with Lyme disease. CHIKV symptoms normally develop 3 to 5 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. Not all mosquitoes carry the disease. The two types that can transmit […]
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02/07/2015 - An estimated 240,000 to 440,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, with the an average of $3,000 spent annually per patient on treatment, according to the study, published online in PLOS ONE.  “Our study looks at the actual costs of treating patients in the year following their Lyme diagnosis,” says study author Emily Adrion, MS. […]
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02/04/2015 - The topic of ‘chronic’ Lyme disease had been hotly debated among medical groups, with infectious disease specialists coming under fire during a 2014 Senate hearing when one participant suggested that the growing number of Lyme disease cases were, in fact, cases ofchronic fatigue. Nonetheless, in mid-December, the Canadian Senate unanimously passed Bill C-442, the Federal Framework […]
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01/26/2015 - As her story continues making headlines around the country, there appears to be a sense of uneasiness among many people discussing Yolanda’s situation. When OK magazine called recently, I was asked by the reporter, “Can Lyme really cause problems like this?” The possibility that a disease, which began with a simple tick bite could progress […]
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01/10/2015 - Major stories for 2014 on Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. Covering newly discovered tick-borne pathogens, the spread of existing tick-borne diseases into new geographic regions, an increasing focus on co-infections and legislative and educational efforts to deal with the growing epidemic of Lyme disease.
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Blog Posts – 2014
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12/23/2014 - The authors “tested the effects of biological explanations among mental health clinicians, specifically examining their empathy toward patients,” and found that biological explanations significantly reduced clinicians’ empathy. “This is alarming because clinicians’ empathy is important for the therapeutic alliance between mental health providers and patients and significantly predicts positive clinical outcomes,” the authors point out. This study focuses […]
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12/13/2014 - The Senate’s unanimous passing of Bill C-442, An Act to Create a Federal Framework on Lyme disease, provides hope and promise for both current and future Lyme disease patients. The following article, entitled “No Coordination of Care in Canadian Health Care,” published recently in The Medicine Hat News, describes the struggles that are all-too typical for so many Canadians […]
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12/07/2014 - While many of the points addressed in the Bill have been agreed upon by all stakeholders at the meeting, certain wording within the bill has created concern for infectious disease specialists, who argue that it suggests support for ‘pseudo-science’ treatment guidelines, while dismissing current evidence-based guidelines put forth by the Infectious Disease Society of America […]
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11/26/2014 - Dr. Shapiro’s interview, conducted during the 2014 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, sends a misleading and alarming message to clinicians, as well as family members serving as advocates for their children. It is also particularly concerning given that the highest reported incidence of Lyme disease occurs in children ages 5 – 14, according to the […]
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11/24/2014 - By Alan MacDonald, M.D. Guest Blog A memorial service was recently held in Hamilton, Montana, to honor Dr. Willy Burgdorfer. I had the great pleasure of knowing Willy and offer these words as tribute to his memory. He will be greatly missed and will be forever positively impacting patient’s lives. “He was a humble man. […]
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11/18/2014 - While the journal authors acknowledge that field studies indicate confirmed endemic areas or potential, future risk areas for ticks has grown from 1 region in 1997 to 13 regions in 2006, the authors minimize the growing concern of tick-borne illness in Canada. They point to the minor number of reported cases. In 2013, 500 cases were reported in Canada.  However, the number of reported Lyme disease […]
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11/05/2014 - Guest Blog By Jennifer Bybel Lown,  Nurse Practitioner Dr. Daniel Cameron & Associates While Lyme disease isn’t necessarily rare, it is a less understood disease, surrounded by conflicting information. And, one in which, all too frequently, family members seem to be more knowledgeable than medical professionals. We recently treated a patient who had been sick […]
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10/27/2014 - If the FDA gets its way, physicians would only have access to diagnostic tests for tick borne diseases that are FDA approved.  This would eliminate “specialty labs,” and severely restrict a clinicians ability to diagnose Lyme disease, as well as other tick-borne co-infections. This is a dangerous move in a period when we’re seeing an […]
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10/20/2014 - A read of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) 2014 evidence based guidelines says otherwise.  The ILADS guidelines focus on the risk of poor outcomes such as chronic neurologic Lyme disease, Lyme encephalopathy, and post-Lyme disease syndrome. The ILADS guidelines highlight the poor evidence using the Institute of Medicine’s recommended evidence grading system.  The […]
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10/08/2014 - Fibromyalgia and Lyme disease symptoms can include muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal complaints, difficulty concentrating, headaches and temperature, light and sound sensitivities. Women are also more likely to be diagnosed with the condition. According to the National Institutes of Health, between 80% and 90% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women. The treatments, unfortunately, are not […]
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09/22/2014 - The task force by Executive Order must submit an action plan by February 15, 2015, outlining specific steps on how to implement a national strategy to combat antibiotic resistance and accelerate research and development on new antibiotics by 2020. The task force will be led by the secretaries of Health and Human Services, the Department […]
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09/10/2014 - Congratulations are also in order for Congressman Chris Smith, NJ for all his years of support and work on making this bill. Congressman Sean Maloney, NY and Wolf, VA are to be thanked for their leadership as well.  Steve Bulger, District Director, Congressman Chris, Gibson - NY 19th CD, 518-610-8133 (office) Thanks are also in order […]
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09/03/2014 - Over the past five years, the number of black-legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis), also known as deer ticks, in Ohio has exploded, and in turn, caused the number of reported Lyme disease cases to double, according to a new study conducted by Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Health. [1] The authors in the […]
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08/18/2014 - There is growing evidence that Lyme disease can lead to psychiatric symptoms, including anxiety disorders and depression.  There have been cases where chronically ill Lyme disease patients were suicidal. But, whether psychiatric manifestations, including suicidal ideation, are due to an infection or the result of struggling with a debilitating condition is unknown. One study found […]
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08/18/2014 - Physicians have been disappointed by the poor sensitivity of the EIA or IFA screening tests for Lyme disease. The sensitivity of the whole-cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to the B31 strain typically falls between 33-49% for patients presenting with an EM.[2-4] The sensitivity of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved complement peptide C6 (C6-peptide) […]
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08/14/2014 - Senator Schumer addressed the shortage of doxycycline in his August 12, 2004 press conference in the Hudson Valley, New York. His comment included the following “LOOMING SHORTAGE OF DOXYCYCLINE, AN ANTIBIOTIC USED TO TREAT LYME DISEASE, IS SENDING PRICE OF DRUG SKYROCKETING DURING ONE OF WORST LYME SEASONS – SENATOR CALLS ON FDA TO INVESTIGATE […]
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08/14/2014 - For Immediate Release: For Information or Interview Requests Contact: Sue Ferrara, PhD pressinfo@ilads.org  (609) 947-9489  Back to School: The ABCs of Lyme and other Tick-borne Infections As families transition from summer activities to Back-to-School preparations, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) urges parent to think about where their children have been this summer; […]
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08/04/2014 - The ILADS 2014 treatment guidelines for Lyme disease identified a number of key issues in making these recommendations: Lyme disease is a complex illness and patients may experience both acute and persistent manifestations Persistent manifestations may produce profound quality-of-life impairments, yet the mechanisms that produce persistent manifestations are poorly understood. The available evidence regarding the […]
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08/04/2014 - by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH A cross-sectional pilot study carried out in the Breakspear neuroscience department in the United Kingdom reported that 50% of 16 serologically positive Lyme disease patients had a loss of libido compared to 0% in 18 controls (p<.001)  The loss of libido was not associated with detrusor muscle dysfunction or […]
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08/04/2014 - A co-infection of Babesia with Lyme disease can increase the severity and duration of illness. Over 6% of questing Nymphal ticks were infected with the pathogens that cause Babesia and Lyme disease. Unfortunately, standard antibiotic treatments for Lyme disease such as doxycycline, amoxicillin, or zithromax are not effective for Babesia. Antiparasitic therapy with when added […]
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08/04/2014 - Krause et al. reported that B. miyamotoi can cause illness and is treatable. Yet, Krause et al also reported that traditional tests for Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) cannot be used to diagnose B. miyamotoi (B. Miyamotoi). [1] Dr. Lee, an investigator at the Department of Pathology, Milford Hospital, Connecticut described a novel DNA Sequencing test that […]
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